* Makes Qatar proud by skiing 110km across the ice desert to reach the South Pole and climb Mount Vinson
Fahad Badar, the Qatari high-altitude climber, adventurer and banking executive leader, made Qatar proud again after seven days of skiing the 'last degree' to the South Pole on December 28, 2019.
This was just the beginning of the expedition, as he went on to climb the highest mountain in Antarctica, Mount Vinson, at 4,892m and reaching the summit on January 2, 2020.
“I knew these would be challenging expeditions and I am so proud that once again I was able to achieve success and fly the flags of Qatar, Qatar 2022, the Qatar Cancer Society and for Commercial Bank at both the South Pole and on the summit of Mount Vinson, in Antarctica,” Fahad said.
“With two guides and nine team members in the first expedition, we faced some punishing weather conditions, with frostbite and extreme exhaustion for some. Eating mostly provisions of dehydrated food, pre-cooked frozen meals of rice and dal and energy gels during the hours of skiing, the journey was a challenge both physically and mentally,” he recalled.
The expedition involved skiing the 'last degree' in Antarctica, which means one degree latitude. "Skiing from 89 degrees south to 90 degrees of the South Pole is an incredible crossing with 24 hours of continuous daylight and involving skiing at intervals up to 10 hours a day for a total of 110km, using sleds to haul provisions across the Antarctic in temperatures of minus 20 to 40 degrees Celsius below zero," a press statement noted.
For many, it would be enough of an achievement to reach the South Pole. But not for Fahad, as Mount Vinson was to be his fourth of the Seven Summits. Records show that only around 1,200 climbers have reached the summit of Mount Vinson since 1966, much less than Mount Everest, the statement pointed out.
“The second leg of the expedition to scale one of the coldest mountains on earth, Mount Vinson - the highest peak in Antarctica, was led by one guide and two other team members. We were roped together to avoid slipping. To scale the steep ice ridge of Mount Vinson, we used spiked crampons on our boots to dig into the ice. It was tough but we made it,” Fahad said.
In May 2019, Fahad made history by becoming the first Arab male to scale both Mount Everest and Mouth Lhotse in a single expedition. He is one of 85 people in the world to have had this massive accomplishment. Fahad also became one of only two Qataris to have successfully climbed Mount Everest to date.
In 2019, he went on to climb Mont Blanc, the Matterhorn and ski the 'last degree' in Antarctica.
"Starting 2020 with a new achievement, scaling Mount Vinson, we cannot wait to see what more summits this year will hold for this Qatari adventurer," the statement added.
One can follow Fahad on his social media Instagram account, @fahad917, for new updates and expeditions.